Sail Loft - R.B. Stevens & Sons Ltd. (1901)
150 Pelham Street
Built in 1901 by Thomas Hamm, the loft did business under the name of J. Henry Hamm. In 1927, the loft became United Sailmakers and operated under this name until 1977. It is believed that this building is the oldest working sail loft in North America. A “sail loft” is a sail making building and refers to the preferred work space for laying out and sewing sails. Making large sails for commercial vessels in the Age of Sail required ample space. Historically, the top floor or loft under the roof of a wooden post and beam structure provided a large open working area without obstructions. The original sewing machine was belt-driven by a water wheel located in the cellar, and is now on display at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. The connection between R.B.Stevens & Sons Co. Ltd. and North Sails Atlantic Ltd. began in 1985 when the companies were combined in a unique blend of tradition and technology. The R.B Stevens label has been used continuously on the sails produced by the company. The sails for the original Bluenose and Bluenose II were made in this loft.
Many thanks to owner Sandy MacMillan.